1. Home
  2. Africa
  3. East Africa
  4. Uganda

Women's voices from the stricken north

Apio Flossy, Uganda.
(IRIN Radio)

A generation of widows, fatherless children, orphans and other innocent victims is the legacy of the long-running civil war in northern Uganda.

The rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has not spared women from combat either.

IRIN Radio has been recording the stories of some of the thousands of ordinary Ugandan women, whose lives have been torn apart by extraordinary levels of suffering.

Click here to listen to the moving story of Akulu Eunice, a rebel abductee for eight years (in English)

In this unique project, IRIN has been working with members of the Uganda Women Writers' Association,  FEMRITE, to ensure that the suffering of northern Ugandan women is widely heard and may be remembered.

FEMRITE members have been trained in radio skills by IRIN, enabling them to capture the testimonies of women war survivors in the districts of Lira, Apac, Gulu and Kitgum.

These intimate testimonies illustrate the courage and determination of women to put an end to the violence and inhumanity that has scarred the lives of so many in Uganda. The public sharing of the stories is also an attempt to counter the silence and stigma normally associated with abductees and ordinary people, who witnessed atrocities they were in no position to prevent.

Women in this special radio series tell of being raped, assaulted, made homeless, shunned, and left to look after children alone.

The programmes, jointly produced by IRIN and FEMRITE, will be broadcast on local radio stations in Uganda and made available on this website.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

Share this article
Join the discussion

It was The New Humanitarian’s investigation with the Thomson Reuters Foundation that uncovered sexual abuse by aid workers during the Ebola response in the Democratic Republic of Congo and led the World Health Organization to launch an independent review and reform its practices.

This demonstrates the important impact that our journalism can have. 

But this won’t be the last case of aid worker sex abuse. This also won’t be the last time the aid sector has to ask itself difficult questions about why justice for victims of sexual abuse and exploitation has been sorely lacking. 

We’re already working on our next investigation, but reporting like this takes months, sometimes years, and can’t be done alone.

The support of our readers and donors helps keep our journalism free and accessible for all. Donations mean we can keep holding power in the aid sector accountable, and shine a light on similar abuses. 

Become a member today and support independent journalism

Become a member of The New Humanitarian

Support our journalism and become more involved in our community. Help us deliver informative, accessible, independent journalism that you can trust and provides accountability to the millions of people affected by crises worldwide.